A helicopter airbase 7 kilometres away from Damascus International Airport originally captured by rebels in November 2012
Originally appeared at International Business Times
Syrian government forces have retaken a key airbase on the outskirts of the capital Damascus after a battle with rebels, military sources said. The airbase in the town of Marj al-Sultan, which lies some 15km (nine miles) east of Damascus, was captured by regime troops on 14 December – more than three years after it fell into rebel hands.
"The Syrian army has taken full control of the town of Marj al-Sultan and its airport in Eastern Ghouta," a military source told the AFP. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the regime's offensive to retake the airbase began last month and was supported by fighters from the Lebanese militant outfit Hezbollah.
The monitoring group's Rami Abdulrahman told AFP that while the airbase had been retaken, regime troops were "still working to secure the town", where some rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remain.
"[The retaking of Marj al-Sultan] will be a step towards tightening the siege around Eastern Ghouta... and reinforcing the Damascus international airport and the road that leads to it," he added.